How to Train Pugs

Pugs are companion dogs, so their focus is usually on you.

Pugs are companion dogs, so their focus is usually on you.

Pugs are friendly and people-loving, but they can be strong-willed when it comes to getting their way. Be prepared to stay patient and practice regularly.

Fun and Work

An hour or more after feeding, take your pug to the place you picked out, remove any distractions and let him play to his heart's content.

After he has had time to play and go potty, his basic needs have been met and he can happily focus on training. Give him a minute to settle down by sitting with him and petting him.

Start with something simple. Get his attention by saying his name. When he looks at you, tell him firmly to sit while you hold his favorite toy over his head and move it slightly forward, so he will have to back up or sit to keep it in sight. If this doesn't work, gently push his rump to the ground until he gets the idea.

If he sits, give him excited praise and let him tug on the toy with you for a few seconds as a reward. Use the same phrase each time to indicate he has done a good job. Something short and simple like, "good boy," will cue him in to which action you were looking for. Don't be afraid to go over the top with the accolades if your furry friend responds well to kudos.

Practice this same trick over and over until it seems like second nature to you both. When you feel like you have mastered this step, use this technique to move on to other commands like down, stay, shake and any other fairly simple trick.

Items you will need

  • Cool, quiet place big enough to play and work in
  • Favorite toy
  • Water and water bowl


  • Your pug wants to please you, you just need to show him how. Do this by making sure he understands what it is you are asking him to do. Be gentle but firm. Remember, the secret is practice and patience.


  • If your pug appears to be breathing too heavily or struggling to keep up, stop your activity and let him rest.
  • Provide water for your pug but don't let him drink too fast or too much while you are working.
  • If you notice any unusual behavior or health concerns, bring them to the attention of your vet.

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About the Author

Cait Smith has been writing professionally since 2003 when she wrote and edited for her college paper, "The Cherokee Signal" for three years. She then wrote for two years at her university paper "The Echo," while she studied journalism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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